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$11M State Grant Will Help Fresno's Emergency Shelter Beds, Mental Health Services
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By Edward Smith
Published 1 month ago on
April 18, 2024

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Fresno got a $10.9 million piece of California grant money to shelter people living in encampments.

The money from California’s $192 million Encampment Resolution Funding will go toward adding emergency shelter beds, street mental health services, and housing stability case managers, according to a news release Thursday. The state estimates the money will provide services to 3,600 people statewide, of which 2,200 will receive permanent housing.

“The city of Fresno has seen tremendous success with past funding from this program, and I’m thrilled with Governor Newsom’s continued support and investment in the good work being accomplished in Fresno,” said Mayor Jerry Dyer. “We are one of the few jurisdictions to see a reduction in overall homelessness, and much of that can be owed to the first two rounds of ERF funding. This round will allow us to continue and expand the vital, life-changing services being provided to our unhoused population.”

Fresno Has Received More Than $33 Million From Program

This is the third time the city received money from the program. The two previous awards to Fresno totaled $22.8 million.

The funding awarded Thursday by the state went to 20 programs in 17 communities.

“These grants show what is possible when the state partners with local communities to put people first and provide them with services to put them on the path to safe, stable housing,” said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Tomiquia Moss.

Newsom Calls for Greater Funding Accountability

Going back five years, California has spent $24 billion to address homelessness, only to have the number of people living on the street increase.

The California State Auditor’s office said earlier this month that the state did not consistently track how the taxpayer money was spent.

“California is facing a concerning paradox: despite an exorbitant amount of dollars spent, the state’s homeless population is not slowing down,” State Senator Roger Niello (R-Roseville) said in a statement to the Associated Press. “These audit results are a wake-up call for a shift toward solutions that prioritize self-sufficiency and cost effectiveness.”

Newsom’s office is proposing “increased enforcement and oversight to hold cities and counties accountable when they fail to adequately address homelessness,” according to a fact sheet.

He is proposing moving more personnel and functions into the Housing Accountability Unit first started in November 2021.

The fact sheet stated that since unit began, it has “worked with, cajoled, and forced local governments to plan for thousands of additional units in their communities.” The unit has taken nearly 400 accountability actions, including multiple lawsuits.

“Many California cities and counties have worked tirelessly on ending homelessness,” Newsom said in a statement. “Many have not. We want real accountability at all levels, so taxpayers see measurable results.”

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Edward Smith,
Multimedia Journalist
Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

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